Warrap announces ‘extra-judicial killing policy’ to curb cattle raid

The Warrap State governor has warned of more severe punishment against those involved in cattle rustling and related crimes.

” If you are found killing a person because of his or her own cow, you will be killed as well,” said Manhiem Bol Malek.

Extra-judicial killing can be defined as the arbitrary deprivation of life by government authorities or individuals without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process.

Generally, cattle are a main source of wealth for many communities in South Sudan. Since the world’s youngest country gained independence in July 2011, cattle raids and revenge attacks have claimed several lives.

This, according to officials and civil society groups, triggers intercommunal clashes and revenge attack and killing.

 In Warrap, there have been several media reports showing increased cattle rustling in the area, mostly in greater Tonj.

 The governor said stolen cattle are either exchanged with cattle in the neighboring states or slaughtered and sold to local butcheries.

 “if you are found in possession of stolen property, government would not spare you,” he said at a swearing-in ceremony of some revenue authority officials in Kuajok on Wednesday.

 “We wouldn’t take you to court because you have become an enemy of the state. So, avoid all these acts if you want to survive.”

 But the UN resolution on extra-judicial killing calls on member states to ensure the effective protection of the right of all to life, liberty, and security, and calls on States to investigate cases of extrajudicial killings and combat impunity.

 Cattle raiding continues to take place despite the existence of laws that prohibit the acts.

 Penal Code 2008 Article 293 states that whoever, intending to take dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, moves that property in order to effect such taking, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or with a fine or with both.

 Reacting to the governor’s remarks, some youth seconded the move, but urged the governor to seek approval from the office of the president.